“Griskabudis” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Griškabūdis, Lithuania)

54° 51' / 23° 10'

Translation of the “Griskabudis” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Josef Rosin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1996


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Lita: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Lithuania,
Editor: Prof. Dov Levin, Assistant Editor: Josef Rosin, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.


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(Page 198)

Griskabudis

In Yiddish, Grishkabud

Written by Josef Rosin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A district town in the Sakiai region.

Year General
Population
Jews
1797 585 10
1827 260 ..
1897 621 ..
1913 .. ~30
families
1923 779 92*
1940 1,000 8
families

*12 % of the total population.

The town in south western Lithuania was founded in 1697 in a forest clearing surrounded by huge forests. It lies 14 km. south-east of the district town Sakiai. Between the years 1795-1807, it was part of Prussia. After 1815 it became Russian territory and was included in the Suwalki Province.

Jews had already settled in the town by the eighteenth century. During the period of Lithuanian independence (1918-1940) it was a sub-district center and had a church which served the farms scattered around the town. 24 market days took place during the year as well as occasional fairs and this provided income to the Jewish families.
According to a survey conducted by the Lithuanian government in 1931, the Jews owned a shop for the sale of tools and ironmongery, a textile shop, an agency for sewing machines, and a tavern. In 1937 the town had a Jewish butcher and a glazier. Over time the Jewish merchants were driven out and mostly immigrated to the USA.

In 1936 a fire burnt down 22 houses, including the study house. It was decided then to turn the bath house into a study house, but they hadn't the means to complete the work and the town remained without a study house and without a bath house. The town had a 'heder' and in the final years 5 children studied there.

In 1933, town Zionists participated in the elections to the eighteenth Zionist congress. A total of 18 persons voted; The General Zionist list received 13 votes, Labor Eretz-Yisrael received 3 votes and Mizrakhi received 2 votes.

There was no Jew among the 8 telephone subscribers in the town.

During the Nazi occupation, the Jews were transferred to Sakiai and there murdered on September 13, together with the remaining Sakiai Jewry. A memorial was raised on the mass grave with a Yiddish inscription; 'In this grave were buried four thousand innocent inhabitants of Siakiai and the surrounding area who were murdered by the German Fascists and Lithuanian bourgeois nationalists in the years 1941-1944. The glorious memory of the dead will be inscribed in the heart of every patriot of our homeland'.

Bibliography:

Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, files 55/1788, 55/1701, 13/15/131, Z-4/2548.
Falksblat (Kaunas), 6.8.1936.

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